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Time Machine: ‘I Love the 90s’ tour includes Mark McGrath, Blackstreet, Naughty by Nature

Mark McGrath found fame as the frontman of the rock band Sugar Ray. (Courtesy of Joe Lester)

The 1990s are having a moment right now in pop culture.

And Mark McGrath is riding that wave again as part of the tour “I Love the 90s: The Party Continues.”

The lineup features musicians who had success in the 1990s.

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The stop in the Duke City will have Blackstreet, Naughty by Nature, Color Me Badd, Coolio and McGrath and his band, Sugar Ray.

“People are really nostalgic,” he says. “It’s so much fun to be a part of. The crowds are amazing, because they are enjoying the moment.”

McGrath began the band in 1988 while he was a student at the University of Southern California.

Sugar Ray signed with Atlantic Records in 1994.

By 1997, McGrath and crew were on the fast track.

The band’s first single, “Fly,” off its sophomore album became a radio hit and catapulted the band into mainstream pop culture.

By 1999, when its third album, “14:59,” was released, Sugar Ray was on top of the music world.

In fact, that album went triple platinum and spawned the singles “Falls Apart” and “Every Morning.”

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At that time, McGrath had also become a popular personality and often found himself hosting TV shows.

“It still feels surreal,” he says of his fame. “Though I was the lead singer, there were three people who wrote the songs. We wrote by committee. I remember when we were working on ‘Every Morning’ and we had been working for hours. I was ready to pack it up. Then Dave (Kahne) looked at me and said, ‘Do you want a hit or a classic?’ We continued to work on it, and the song is still around nearly 20 years later.”

Sugar Ray’s most recent studio album was released in 2009.

But McGrath has continued making music.

In 2015, he released “Summertime’s Coming,” and he says there are plans for more Sugar Ray music in the near future.

“I have about 300 ideas in my iPhone, and some of them are really good, others not really,” he says. “We are in a creative space, and it’s great. We only thought that we’d make one album and get dropped by the label. Here were are 20-plus years later and new generations of fans are finding us, thanks to a tour like the one we’re on now. It’s amazing.”


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